The Geektastics http://thegeektastics.com A safe space to geek out! Tue, 05 May 2015 02:40:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Bookshelf of Holding: Two Cent Book Reviews: Written in Red by Anne Bishop /2015/02/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-written-in-red-by-anne-bishop/ /2015/02/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-written-in-red-by-anne-bishop/#comments Sun, 15 Feb 2015 17:00:07 +0000 /?p=5408 Bookshelf of Holding

 

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(c) Anne Bishop – Written in Red

Written in Red

by Anne Bishop

ISBN 0451464966
Hardcover, 433 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by NAL Hardcover

Anne Bishop has created a rich world that I enjoyed being a part of as a reader. The book moved a bit slow at times, but that seems the norm with Anne’s work. I can’t wait for the next installment, as Anne’s work also continually lures me in and keeps it’s hold!

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I Heart: The What I’m Watching Edition /2015/02/03/i-heart-the-what-im-watching-edition/ /2015/02/03/i-heart-the-what-im-watching-edition/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 06:01:25 +0000 /?p=5550

Big Giant Swords – Kris and I are loving the new Discovery show “Big Giant Swords”. Irish Mike was a construction welder who made giant weapons as a hobby in his spare time. His friend AmeriMike would record the weapon tests and post them on YouTube, and he became an internet sensation. Now, he’s making weapons on commission full time with a small team.

I am not a reality show fan at all, but the structure of this show trims the fat so it’s 90% about the weapons and 10% about the people involved. This makes the contrived drama, which has always discouraged me from watching reality shows, almost negligible. Irish Mike is hilarious and obviously genuinely loves what he does, which makes the show infinitely more watchable and entertaining than other shows of this type. (I’m looking at you, every car restoration show.) Definitely check it out if you are a fantasy fan and/or consider yourself a “maker”!

 

The Man in the High Castle” – If you’ve never taken part in Amazon’s pilot project, now is the time, if only to watch and vote for “The Man in the High Castle”. It’s already received very favorable buzz and critics are predicting that it will be picked up for a full season, but every vote counts and this series deserves to be seen. Based on a novel by Philip K. Dick (author of 2001: A Space Odyssey and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, the original novella from which Blade Runner was adapted), “The Man in the High Castle” takes place in an alternate reality where Germany and Japan won WWII. The countries have split the US, with Germany taking the eastern states and headquartered in New York and Japan taking the western states, headquartered in San Fransisco. There is also a gash cut through the center of the country known as the “Neutral Zone”, which has a headquarters in Canon City, Colorado.

The pilot episode centers on two people, one on each coast, as they get involved in the resistance and learn that there is more to the outcome of the war than they originally believed as they journey towards Canon City. The production design is beautiful and the message of the show isn’t overwrought. It would be very easy to use the premise to depict a horrifying dystopia, but the world of “The Man in the High Castle” feels much more realistic. We see that life has continued as usual on the surface, but there are dark consequences of the Germanic-Japanese rule lurking in the shadows. This is a show that has the potential to reach a wide audience – perfect for history buffs while also including some subtle sci-fi elements. (Bonus: The gorgeous opening credits which feature a haunting rendition of “Edelweiss”.)

 

“Twin Peaks” Revival – If you’re a David Lynch fan, you already know that Showtime is planning on bringing back a 9 episode run of “Twin Peaks” to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the show’s original conclusion. During its original two season arc, “Twin Peaks” was a quirky show with a devoted fan base that became a cultural phenomenon and made David Lynch a household name. The show ended prematurely after low ratings in the second season and was considered to be too weird for network TV. Lynch released a feature film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, that was intended to resolve some of the dangling storylines, but it received mixed reviews from both critics and fans.

Showtime’s revival will pick up where the story left off and it has been announced that a number of former cast members will return, including Kyle MacLachlan (Agent Dale Cooper). The entire run is being written and produced by David Lynch and Mark Frost, and all nine episodes will be directed by Lynch. This is exciting news for diehard fans, as it means all of the show’s inherent weirdness will be preserved. The new episodes will air in 2016 and Showtime will rebroadcast the first two seasons in their entirety prior to the new premiere.

 

“The Fall” – You might have already heard some buzz about the British crime drama, “The Fall”. It stars Gillian Anderson as Superintendent Stella Gibson, a senior police officer brought into Belfast to investigate a high profile murder of the daughter-in-law of a prominent local businessman and discovers a string of similar murders.

The show is moody and gripping as the story slowly unwinds. We know the killer’s identity almost from the very beginning, so the tension is built not on who committed the crime, but if and/or when he will be caught. Jamie Dornan plays Paul Spector, a seemingly loving family man and dedicated grief counselor who spends his nights stalking successful, affluent women and killing them. Dornan is amazing as Spector; he starts out quiet and very controlled, but as the police get closer to discovering the truth, his carefully crafted facade begins to crack. American viewers can watch both seasons on Netflix.

 

Black Mirror – Similarly, Netflix is streaming the Channel 4 sci-fi anthology “Black Mirror”. Each episode tells its own story, set in a near future and relating to how human interaction is changed by technology. The title refers to the reflective quality of an empty screen.

The first epsiode, “The National Anthem”, may scare off some viewers, but it is the show at its most extreme. (If you find yourself unable to watch “The National Anthem”, don’t give up on the series!) “Black Mirror” is a return to the great anthology series of the past – think “The Twilight Zone”, “The Outer Limits”, and “Tales from the Dark Side”.

 

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Why I Left and Why I’m Back Again /2015/01/30/why-i-left-and-why-im-back-again/ /2015/01/30/why-i-left-and-why-im-back-again/#comments Sat, 31 Jan 2015 04:59:40 +0000 /?p=5545 This post is going to be long, so you might want to strap yourself in.  Think of it this way – I haven’t posted in awhile and I have a lot to say.

Why I stopped writing . . .

I told everyone it was because of my job.  In 2013, I got a help desk job with an education company.  I started the blog when I worked in retail and it was my way of escaping.  I enjoyed writing and I enjoyed working on the site because I wasn’t working on computers all day.  Sitting down and working on my computer felt relaxing after carrying heavy furniture and baskets of breakable dishes.

But working in IT means sitting in front of a computer all day, and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was get back on a computer.  I took up cross stitching and kept telling myself that I’d get back into blogging when I got used to it.  A year later, and I still wanted nothing to do with computers after the end of my shift.

That’s only half the story, if I’m being honest though.  It made sense and seemed to satisfy people who asked me whether I was going to write on the blog again.  I’m going to tell you the other half now.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety my entire adult life, and probably most of my adolescent life as well.  They never go away, they just flow and ebb depending on what’s going on in my life.  Some days are really good and some are really bad.  And there are days when it’s just there hanging over me like a dark cloud; not really interfering with my life, but omnipresent.  For many people with depression, and especially anxiety, change can trigger the bad days – even good changes.  My job brought a lot of changes.  The initial change of starting a new job, the busy periods in Spring and Fall, and being moved to a new, specialized team all happened within a year.  Our work schedules meant that we had less time to spend with our friends. Kris’s contract ended with his previous job and we were concerned about him finding a new one.  My dad and step-sister had semi-serious health issues.  One set of friends experienced a tragic death.  All of this seemed to compound until I found myself in one of the mentally darkest periods of my life.

I had very little motivation to do anything, other than cross stitch, which seemed to be the one thing that lifted my mood.  My house was consistently messy, which is very unusual for me. I was to the point where I was only cleaning it when I knew people would come over, because I knew they expected the house to be clean.  This increased my depression and made me feel more like a failure.  I didn’t even want to think about how long it had been since I wrote a post.  I felt like I had let down the people who were still writing for the site and I just wanted it to go away.

 Why I’m back . . .

I still love writing.  I had been thinking about starting to write my blog again and even started getting excited about maintaining the site again.  In a roundabout way, it was my stitching that got me to that place again.  I wanted to post my work to my personal website and, in doing so, remembered how much I enjoyed it.

Right about that time, Rhianna contacted me to ask if this site was still active.  I took it as a sign.

 What will change . . .

I wanted to produce a lot of content when I started this site and kept adding more and more features to my blog.  This put a lot more pressure on me to write more often and when I wasn’t able to keep up, it made me feel guilty.  I’ve stripped the blog down to the things I enjoy writing about most.  “I Heart” will become bi-weekly and “The Space Nerd Files” and “Tab Goes to the Movies” will be showing up when I have something cool to write about.  The other categories are going away and there may be an increase in less structured posts.  “Geektastic Fright Fest” and “Christmas Gift Guide” will be staying the same, and I hope to still cover Mile High Horror Festival, Denver Comic Con, and the Zombie Crawl, but it will depend on what else is going on in my life.

I’m also making a fresh start. Previous posts will be in the “Geektastic Archive” category and are tagged “Geektastic 1.0″, so you can still read them if you wish.  But the main Geektastic blog will be starting fresh as of today.

 

Thanks for your patience (especially Rhianna and Keith) with me over the last year.  I’m excited to be back!

 

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Bookshelf of Holding: Two Cent Book Reviews: PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives by Frank Warren /2015/01/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-postsecret-extraordinary-confessions-from-ordinary-lives-by-frank-warren/ /2015/01/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-postsecret-extraordinary-confessions-from-ordinary-lives-by-frank-warren/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 19:00:33 +0000 /?p=5405 Bookshelf of Holding

 

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(c) Frank Warren – PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives

PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives

by Frank Warren

ISBN 0060899190
Hardcover, First Edition, 278 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by HC

An absolutely amazing collection of people’s inner thoughts and secrets, each submitted to the author on a post card. A great idea, and a great read. This book really makes you stop and think about the secrets in your own life, as well as wonder what inner secrets those around you have and never share.

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Bookshelf of Holding: Two Cent Book Reviews: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon /2014/12/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-fantasy-lover-by-sherrilyn-kenyon/ /2014/12/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-fantasy-lover-by-sherrilyn-kenyon/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:00:50 +0000 /?p=5403 Bookshelf of Holding

 

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(c) Sherrilyn Kenyon – Fantasy Lover

Fantasy Lover

by Sherrilyn Kenyon

ISBN 0312979975
Mass Market Paperback, First, 337 pages
Published February 18th 2002 by St. Martin’s Press

Of all of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books, this one is my favorite. I think this book is often overlooked by Dark-Hunter fans due to it being a prequel to the series and not having an actual “Dark-Hunter” in it. The book is a pure joy to read and has my favorite of all of Kenyon’s heroes in it: Julian. I highly recommend reading this book as a fun and romantic read!

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Bookshelf of Holding: Two Cent Book Reviews: Jane-in-the-Box by Rita Maria Martinez /2014/11/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-jane-in-the-box-by-rita-maria-martinez/ /2014/11/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-jane-in-the-box-by-rita-maria-martinez/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 18:55:45 +0000 /?p=5399 Bookshelf of Holding

 

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Jane-in-the-Box

by Rita Maria Martinez

ISBN 1596610840
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Penguin Group

Rita Maria Martinez’s love for Jane Eyre is apparent in her collection of poems. The collection is a combination of the classic story intertwined with the author’s upbringing. My favorite is Reading Jane Eyre II. I connected with the poem’s insight on reading a favorite book and how the real life atmosphere provides the backdrop for remembering the joys of reading.

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Bookshelf of Holding: Two Cent Book Reviews: Dark Wolf by Christine Feehan /2014/10/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-dark-wolf-by-christine-feehan/ /2014/10/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-dark-wolf-by-christine-feehan/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 17:50:38 +0000 /?p=5397 Bookshelf of Holding

 

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(c) Christine Feehan – Dark Wolf

Dark Wolf

by Christine Feehan

ASIN B00DGZKJAW
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Penguin Group

I just couldn’t finish it and gave up at 56%. I started off a huge Carpathian fan, but the last 10+ books are just way too cookie cutter and feature the same exact personality type for the hero, in my opinion. I picked up this one because I wanted the conclusion to the heroine’s story line that started years ago, but even this book featured the same personality of hero as the last 20 books. It feels like the author just changes up minor plot details and picks a different name for the heroine. This will be the last Carpathian book I will be buying.

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Bookshelf of Holding: Two Cent Book Reviews: The Varayan Memiors by Rick Shelley /2014/09/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-the-varayan-memiors-by-rick-shelley/ /2014/09/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-the-varayan-memiors-by-rick-shelley/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:45:28 +0000 /?p=5393 Bookshelf of Holding

 

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(c) Rick Shelley – The Varayan Memoir: Son of the Hero

Son of the Hero
The Hero of Varay
The Hero King

by Rick Shelley

Son of the Hero:
ISBN 0451450264
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 7th 1990 by Roc

The Hero of Varay:
ISBN 0451450914
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 2nd 1991 by Roc

The Hero King:
ISBN 0451451554
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 5th 1992 by Roc

I first came upon this series at my local library and fell in love with all three books instantly. Ten years later they still remain my favorite books and hold the most coveted spot on my shelf. I highly recommend them to anyone and everyone. The story line is fantastic and carries smoothly through all three books. I love the main character Gil and enjoyed following his quests into Shelly’s strange world. The story line is unique and perfect for anyone who enjoys fantasy novels and timetravel-esque books.

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Bookshelf of Holding: Two Cent Book Reviews: Rogue Rider by Larissa Ione /2014/08/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-rogue-rider-by-larissa-ione/ /2014/08/15/bookshelf-of-holding-two-cent-book-reviews-rogue-rider-by-larissa-ione/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:00:31 +0000 /?p=5390 Bookshelf of Holding

 

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(c) Larissa Ione – Rogue Rider

Rogue Rider

by Larissa Ione

ISBN 0446574481
Mass Market Paperback, 391 pages
Published November 20th 2012 by Grand Central Publishing

**spoiler alert** Great ending to this series-within-a-series! I wasn’t as crazy about Thanatos’ book, but I loved this one! I really liked Reseph’s character development and interactions with Jillian. It would have been nice to see a bit more development and growth in the interactions between Reseph and his siblings, but there was so much going on in this book I can imagine it being difficult fitting in everything. What left me really ecstatic and wanting more was the tantalizing glimpses for Reaver and Harvester. Next book, please

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Letters to Supervillains Special: Dear Shredder, /2014/07/31/letters-to-supervillains-special-dear-shredder/ /2014/07/31/letters-to-supervillains-special-dear-shredder/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:47:26 +0000 /?p=5448
Dear Shredder,I really like the look. I know a lot of people don’t, but the cape plus cheese slicer look is a bold decision. Everyone i know is like “Meh meh the throne from Game of Thrones is so dangerous to sit on because it’s made of swords and can cut you when you sit down blah blah blah.” I couldn’t imagine dressing like you and having any daily activity not be one of the most dangerous things ever. Sneezing into your elbow is the deadliest polite thing you could do.

Being a ninja master, how have you not managed to kill a couple of teenagers after all of these years? Why do all of your sinister plots involve ninja robots, talking brains from Dimension X, or recruiting a teenage Sam Rockwell to defeat the turtles? Couldn’t you just fill the sewers full of some sort of turtle nerve gas and just beat them that way?  My crazy fan theory is that you thought of that but because the ninja turtles have mutated physiology and live in such a methane-rich environment they’re immune to most toxic gasses. Also, like, ancient ninja code of honor prevents you from doing it or whatever. But a lot of my fan theories have been proven wrong in the past, so it might work.

Don’t get confused; I’m not saying “Yes, please do kill off my favorite childhood heroes”.  What I’m saying is, “Why aren’t you as super deadly and hard to beat as you were in the arcade game?”  I mean seriously. Every single time I get a little too drunk and pull out my old Nintendo you blast me into turtle soup. Level after level of foot soldiers and mousers and stone warriors that just need a couple jump kicks to defeat, and then Shredder. Pixilated reptile death incarnate. If you were that awesome 100% of the time, the kids show from the 80’s would probably still be going.

On a final note, my shredder is broken. Can I ship my voided checks and unsolicited credit card applications to you?

Yours,
Keith McGuffey

 

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